Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Pig-mas!


So yesterday, the kids got an invite to a friend’s house for a few hours in the afternoon.  I dropped them off around two and that gave me three hours to wrap presents and finish up Christmas stuff, since I’d been sick all week with an unidentified flu-like illness.  The friend lives just around the corner, so I drove down the side of our pasture on my way to drop them off.  The horses were over by the fence and I noticed Sugar and Lucky were by the horses.  Lucky was supposed to be in his pen, so I wondered how he got out, but there was another dog there too, wasn’t there? 

I got home, put Lucky up and commenced to wrapping presents and watching HGTV upstairs in my bedroom.  After about an hour, my back could take no more, so I went downstairs and had a little break checking Facebook. 

My neighbor wrote: Just finished the big neighborhood pig roundup.  My Christmas present to you Mickie.  :)  

To which I replied: Are you freaking kidding me?

Lucy, the WonderPig, had apparently had enough of the confined life and decided to take a tour around the neighborhood.  She ended up in Sugar’s backyard and thank goodness my neighbor saw her.  He and his family rounded her up and brought her back home to her pen behind the barn.  She’d apparently worked on the cattle panels that make up the fence on the west side of the barn and pushed them so that they looked more like a teepee propped up on the telephone poles that are the infrastructure of the barn. 

This just after Wednesday, when she decided to heck with the chain link gate and shoved her way right out of it.  We now have chains on everything around here.  It’s like Alcatraz for animals. 

On Wednesday, she stayed in the backyard, while I ran around her in circles screaming at the kids to “get the dogs”, “come help me”, “NO!”, “get out of the WAY!!”  Nothing puts me in a panicked, screaming mood like a loose animal.  I’m surprised someone didn’t call the cops, thinking someone was being murdered over here.   

What we learned on Wednesday was to always hook the chain on the gate, and that I run about as fast as a 3 ½ month old pig. 

Anyway, my neighbor must have been quieter in his escapades, or I had the TV turned up way too loud, because I was totally oblivious to the whole situation! 

I wrapped up my wrapping and covered my tracks and then headed out to check on the barn situation.  The entire 20 ft. or so made up of cattle panels was leaning precariously.  There was a foot wide gap at one end that I thought the pig could have surely fit easily through, so I thought she was out again! 

Please God, don’t let the pig be out again!

“Luuuccccyyyy…” I called.

And out steps a very sleepy pig from the chicken house where she sleeps.  She’d been taking a nap!  Too much excitement, I guess. 

So I corral her back in the chicken house and lock her in so she won’t be doing any escaping before I get the fence put back up and wired in place.  Sounds easier than it really was…

By this time, I had to go pick up the kids.  I told the mom over there about the pig escape.  Her older daughter and the dad had gone to Wal-Mart earlier and the daughter said, “I saw a pig on our way to the store!  I said, ‘Dad, look, it’s a REAL LIVE pig!’”


Lucy the pig. 

Neighborhood celebrity.

I don’t know how long she was out, or where her travels took her, but it was exciting nonetheless. 

And embarrassing.

Stupid pig. 

My 9YO and I worked until dark wiring the panels back in place.  I should say we worked until my helper’s hands got too cold and until mine hurt from bending wire in place.  I was feeling like a farmer last night!

This morning, we go out to inspect our pig-proofing.  We also took Lucy an old bowling ball to play with at the advice of another Facebook friend who has raised pigs for years.  Said she might be bored.    

Lucy and Lucky immediately started playing.  Lucy kept head butting Lucky and was trying to bite his tail.  It was funny to watch.  She didn’t think a whole lot of the bowling ball, but gave it a couple of shoves with her nose.

I also had her eat dog food out of my hand and this time she let me pat her back.  I think her whole trip around the neighborhood made her a little friendlier to us.  They say pigs are smart.  Smart as a dog, I’ve heard.  Maybe, just maybe, she had some escaper’s remorse yesterday while she was off gallivanting with the dogs.  Maybe there was a bit of panic in her heart that she was truly lost.  Maybe there was no tussling with the neighbor because she was relieved that someone knew where she belonged.  Maybe she thought “There’s no place like home.”

Maybe we should have named her Dorothy.

Dorothy Houdini.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hairy Leg Comparison

Last March, after one of the coldest, snowiest winters in all my life, I posted about Roany Pony's hairy legs

This was the leg hair I observed:

For comparison's sake, here is Roany Pony's leg hair this winter:

Notice my taste in tacky fingernail polish has not changed. 

Is less leg hair for Roany Pony a sign of a milder winter?  Well, let's hope so, being as since last year's winter broke snowfall/blizzard/coldness records that I don't really care to revisit.  Or am I just early in the season and his leg hair hasn't had enough time to grow out? 

I'll let you know in March. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

You Wanna Fight?

I do this thing with Lucky.  It's our thing.  He really doesn't do it with anyone else.  Here's how it goes.

First, he sits and stares at me like this.

And I fail to notice, so he sits and waits very patiently.   Or, he stands and leans his full weight on my legs. 

Come on!  Say it!  he says. 

So I say, "You wanna fight?" with a grovely voice and I shove him over with my foot. 

Then he proceeds to attack my leg with as soft a bite as he can muster with those long teeth. 

So I put my foot on his head.

And he does things like this.

No, that's not blood.  Probably cat food. 

And then he does this. 

Which I take to mean "I surrender!!"

It's really quite the spectacle.  It's become a family favorite.  The kids say, "Mommy!  Fight with the dog!"  And for Mother's Day the teacher passed out one of those "All About My Mother" sheets and the answer for what I did best was "fight with the dog".  Everyone has a talent!

Then Lucky and I have to make up by shaking hands. 

"You're such a good boy! You big dummy!"  I say. 

"Who you calling dummy?" he says. 

Ouch!  Okay, I take it back.  Geesh!   

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Rabbit's Revenge

“For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth.”  Exodus 9:15

A couple of weekends ago, my neighbor and I headed over to Claremore on a mission to visit Hoover’s Antique Mall.  I’d been in there a couple of months ago and saw some wooden signs with funny sayings that I thought would make good Christmas gifts. 

Like: “I’m so busy, I don’t know whether I’ve found a rope, or lost my horse.”  Ha ha!

After hitting Hoover’s and having lunch at The Pink House, we were just about ready to head home, but…  who could visit Claremore without hitting the Goodwill? 

Well, maybe you can, but I can’t.

“Since we’re so close….” I said. 

My neighbor was willing, so we headed on over.  I noticed when we pulled into the parking lot that it was completely full except for one space reserved for me.  Ok, I don’t really have my own parking spot, but there was just one hole left and I assumed it was for me. 

We go into the store and it is a frenzy of shoppers.  The sign on the door said “50% off all clothing sale”.  That explained the parking lot. 

I found several sweaters that beckoned me take them home to replace other Goodwill sweaters that have grown weary over the winters.  I found two red ones from Land’s End and Eddie Bauer, a brown one from Liz Claiborne, and a white one from a frou frou mall store who will remain nameless to protect the innocent. 

The white one was a turtleneck lovely that was as soft as a cloud.  Kind of felt like a rabbit.  I checked the tag….

Yep, sure enough, it WAS a rabbit! 

I loved it, but it seemed kind of hairy.  So I washed it with some unsuspecting other clothing items.  Yes, the tag says hand wash, but around here if you can’t make it through the washer and the dryer, then it is back to Goodwill you go.  Everything seemed okay when I placed said sweater in the dryer along with all its other new friends from the washing machine.  I had the forethought to assume it would be putting off a lot of fuzz so I checked the lint trap twice during its drying.  Both times it appeared that I had stuck a cat in the dryer.  A big, fat, fluffy, white cat… who was shedding profusely.

Little did I know…

I put all the laundry up into their respective places and then decided upon wearing my “new” sweater the following day.  I ignored the first few strands of fuzz that landed on my eyelashes as I pulled the thing over my head. 

As the day wore on, I noticed my nose tickling.  Then, as I was speaking with animated hands at Sunday school, I noticed that I was caught in a veritable whirlwind of fuzz trying to shove itself up my nose.  This was one hairy sweater!

I would not be deterred.  It was a nice sweater.  It fit me perfect and looked cute with my red snowman scarf I’d gotten from the dollar store.  I took it off as soon as I got home and threw it back in the laundry. 

Monday passed and upon the arrival home of my husband, he asked me if I’d washed his shirt with something fuzzy.  His entire shirt was a veritable spider web of fuzz! 


Then I began to notice fuzz on my coat, on my undershirt, on my underwear!  It was as if I’d released a great fuzzy pestilence upon my household.    

I was still in denial that I could be beaten by a $2.50 sweater.  So I washed the sweater again, by itself, twice.  And I dried it… twice.  And each time it was as if the rabbit within was releasing more hair this time than the last.

But it was such a nice sweater. 

Yesterday, after wearing the sweater again, I resolved myself to the fact that some clothing articles should just stay at Goodwill.  After a day filled with pulling fuzz strands out of my nose and itching my eyes to clear away the cobwebs of fuzz, I placed the fuzzy sweater into my own Goodwill donation pile.  I hope it finds a good home, really, I do.  Maybe someone who will be willing to hand wash it this time.  Maybe it was my own fault for trying to change it into something it wasn’t meant to be.  Or maybe it was the company’s fault for using a rabbit to make a sweater in the first place.  Or maybe it was finally the white rabbit’s revenge.  What he had against me personally, I’ll never know. 

As for me, my days of angora are over.  After this rabbit sweater experience, I can only imagine what a mess an angora goat sweater could make.  (If you thought I was going to stop shopping at Goodwill, you’re sadly mistaken!)

May your days be fuzzy and bright, and may all your rabbit sweaters be white!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Advent Memories

“Advent  - (from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming") is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.” - Wikipedia

So there I was, sitting in church last Sunday, listening to the pre-service music, getting settled in my pew, when I notice the Pastor rise from his seat take his bulletin and flap out the Christ candle on the Advent wreath that the acolyte had mistakenly lit. 

You see, it was only the first Sunday of Advent, so only the pink candle and a purple candle should have been lit…  well, I hope that’s right because that’s what we ended up with after the bulletin smack down of the Christ candle. 

I’m not real current on my Advent candle lighting procedures since it has been many moons since I’ve been asked to acolyte.

Many, many moons.

Anyway, I found all this to be quite funny and filed it away under Advent Memories in my head.

Another Advent Memory of mine occurred when I likely was an acolyte, because in this memory, I have a front seat of the church view. 

A girl named Amie was singing in front of Mt. Olive, standing behind the black piano that was beside our Advent wreath.  Now the Advent wreath at my current church is quite substantial and tall, but at Mt. Olive our Advent wreath stood about four feet tall and was what I would describe as “spindly”.  I remember having to be particularly careful about lighting the Advent wreath for fear that the whole thing would go toppling over. 

And it seems I had to light that thing a lot!  I was a seasoned acolyte back in my day.

Anyway, back to Amie singing with piano accompaniment…

I don’t remember what song she was singing (maybe one of you out there can help me out), but sometime during the middle part of the song, an ember from one of the candles fell to the evergreen circle at the base of the candles.  Smoke started first.  Then flames. 

Now this wasn’t a catastrophic fire by any means, but Amie’s eyes got as big as saucers while she watched the flame grow to about three inches tall. 

While the rest of the congregation sat in paralyzed silence, our Usher Extraordinaire name Fred came up to the Advent wreath, Amie still singing and probably Eleanor still playing the piano, and put the fire out with is bare hands.  I can still see him patting and twisting those branches until the fire went out.

Fred was my hero.  Not that we were all in grave danger.  The interior of Mt. Olive’s sanctuary is mostly concrete, brick and stone.  The fire really wouldn’t have had anywhere to go.  And it isn’t like we couldn’t have used a less spindly Advent wreath, but… 

Fred was still a hero.   He saved Advent.

Fast forward to this past year…

My church holds an annual “Advent Fair” where the kids can make some sort of Advent wreath or calendar or other project.  Last year it was a wreath with a Styrofoam base, plastic evergreen garland, ribbon, and the five necessary candles all glued together.  We lit ours maybe once last year, but with memories of an Advent wreath catching fire in my brain, I find I’m not a huge fan of the at-home Advent wreath.  So after Christmas was over, the Advent wreath got placed in the attic.  I didn’t box it up, not that it would have mattered, because I was afraid it would get squashed and broken.  And after all, my babies made it!

Well, here’s what I found this year…

Seems that the 112 degree temperatures of our Oklahoma summer this year were too much for the Advent wreath. 

Quite the pathetic wreath, but funny nonetheless! 
I hope you’re preparing for the coming of Jesus, and I hope someday you share your Advent stories with me!